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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,490 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,490
Reviews: 827
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 185
Gots: 214 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,490 | Reviews: 827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bierschenker
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%

Vintage 2004
Bought a gift box at “Het Ankertje aan de Dijle” (Vismarkt, Mechelen) with two bottles and two glasses. A bottle of Cuvee and a bottle of Triple.
Poured it in the chalice and received a great scent, but no head. Only a thin white film on top.
The colour is a very dark orange. Smells very sour-bitter. Malt and strong hop. Dried figs and grapes (raisins).
Taste is very soft, Strong malt and slight hopyness. Ginger, figs, raisins, mint, pepper.
Mouthfeel is great, well balanced taste, not sticky or slimy. Warm feeling, bit like liquor. Full-bodied
Aftertaste is quite the same: mint, pepper, malt, meat like, stronger hops, celery, sheer sugar. Bit medicinal syrupy sweet.

Real gem, but what else to expect from het Anker.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

Bierschenker, Mar 29, 2006
Photo of rajendra82
3.8/5  rDev -11.8%

I picked up this 2004 vintage corked and caged bomber from Bullock’s in Marietta. Although great care was exercised in not shaking the bottle during the uncaging and uncorking ceremony, I still found a gusher in my hand that lost about an ounce of liquid on the desktop. I had never seen a beer form a head in the bottle before this one. The body was deep burgundy in color and after the initial rush of carbonation; there was little head to speak of. The beer looked cloudy in the wine glass, while little light coming through. The bouquet was rich and layered with aromas of fig, plum, raisin, toffee, chocolate, and maple. The malt also presented itself on the tongue as a sweet and warm taste reminiscent of port wine. Alcohol was not as well hidden as I though it would be, with distinct warmth that was pleasing. Not much to counter the sweetness, as there was hardly any hop presence. The beer was smooth and slippery on the palette with a prickly, peppery, and alcoholic aftertaste. Two years of aging was not enough, as the rough edges were still a little grating. Can do better with eight more years I think.

rajendra82, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.05/5  rDev -6%

750 ml bottle. This beer pours out a partially hazy brown color with a large head. The aroma is chocolate, licorice, spices, and dark fruits. The flavor is very malty, with chocolate, cherries, cloves, and pepper. There is some licorice flavor, but not as much as the aroma would have you believe. Hoppier than the average dark Belgian ale, but not overly hopped. The hops lend a welcomed bitterness to this otherwise sweet beer. Thick mouthfeel. Drinkability is good, considering this beer is so high in alcohol. This beer is good in the bottle, but it's excellent on tap.

beveragecaptain, Mar 05, 2006
Photo of francisweizen
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%

Ruby ruby red tawny brown with off-white edges and a big head of close-to-white foam. Head has good retention. Aromas are spicy and big with an alcoholic kick. Typically Belgian in its spice profile and clean biscuity maltiness and light hopping. This is a showcase for sweetness and spices and it shows. In a good way. The taste is a bit hot with this young example, but this is only a small hindrence. The spices mingle well with the clean malts and hops and the alcohol, whilst hot, is warming and pulls this one together. The mouthfeel is a bit oily for my liking, but it works, and the drinkability is nice for this 11% famed Belgian. He is a good emperor.

francisweizen, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of Shovelbum
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%

Pours a two finger off-white head that has the creamy appearance of frothed milk. The body is a dark garnet color that is almost impervious to light except at the edges. The head slowly recedes leaving ever-so-delicate bands of lace down the glass. Aromas of sweet vinous fruit mingle with earthy aromas. A bit of alcohol peeks through in the aroma as well. The flavor is, well, awesome. A light smooth creamy mouthfeel belies the underlying complexities of flavor. A decent amount of Beligian candi sweetness combines with dark berries, plums, cherries, earth, mild caramel, a touch of oak and a very subtle hop bitterness balancing things out in the background. Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Happy birthday to Charles the Fifth (I’m four days early) and praise be to the Anker brewery of Mechelen! This bunch knows what they are doing. Too bad this masterpiece is only brewed once a year. Trying to pick apart the complexity of this ale nearly overloaded my neural circuitry, yet it is so smooth and well balanced that I can just as easily sit back and sip this to my hearts delight. Fine, I’ll do just that.

Shovelbum, Feb 21, 2006
Photo of nickss
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%

My 100th review. I figured if it's good enough for Charles V, its good enough for my 100th.

Pours a murky brown hue with a definite orange tint. The carbonation is visible, as a constant stream of bubbles struggle their way to the surface. Monstrous head... 3" or so... cream in color, rocky in consistency. Gargantuan chunks of lace cling to the side. Very pretty.

Significant alcohol smell.... very bourbon-esque... reminds alot of some of the Brit Barleywines out there. A certain wine quality to it as well... of the red varietals of course... lots of distinct plum and grape and dark fruit. This is a slap to your nostrils.. I dig it.

Flavour is highly correlated to the taste... huge bourbon flavour. Not quite as strong as I was expecting, much more subtle and refined... once again... alot of plum in the flavour. Some oak and malt in the background. Barely perceptible licorice and maybe a bit of molasses. Very warming.

This is interesting... as it hits the tongue, the brew originally seems very active (as the appearance would suggest), however, it quickly dies away to a smooth, thick, mouth-filling concoction. Wonderful.

While this brew is thoroughly enjoyable, and not offensive at all for the abv, I couldn't drink more than a couple of these. That being said...this is a very unique brew.. unlike any other brew I have ever had of this style. If I was Charles V, I think I may have been a lush =D.

nickss, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%

2005: Grand Cru of the Emperor. Thanks to the li'l bro for this Christmas gift (and to BeerPanther for suggesting it to him). Such a better beer than I was expecting--even though I knew not what to expect.

Poured a dark amber in color. This would be a great colorfor a gem stone. Slight head that was not much more than a thin layer of carbonation. Some layering lace and some spotty lace--very different throughout the glass. Nose is wonderfully sweet with loads of sugars and hard candies. How I would love to be in the brewery on brewing day.

Flavor is thick and syrupy in feel. Very sweet with hardly a hint of hops (I think I ma have noticed them towards the finish of the finish. Extremely sweet. Would make a wondeful dessert beer like a glass of port in Porto. Also got a bit of spiciness... some pepper and just a slight hint of coriander. Thick and full mouthfeel that was a bit cloying. Such a nice dessert wine.

MuddyFeet, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of bruachan
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%

i think i bought this at arrowine in arlington, va

my bottle says "grand cru of the emperor" but i won't split hairs
extremely pungent: the immediate area around my st. bernardus goblet is shot through with the smell of bready, yeasty, nutty, winey. up close i pick up complex odors of aging and some ethanol, along with that smooth roasted nuttiness i adore in rochefort

deep dark (but clear) ruby with inverted cascades of carbonation that keep a great billowy, creamy head alive. fantastic sheets of lacing

the flavor profile is just as complex as the nose. huge special B raisin and warming alcohol spice are preceded by a brief smooth nut character. a blackcurrant bitterness camoflauges well the 11% at the finish

not a particularly big mouthfeel, but enough to let all of the secrets linger

this is a fantastic brew. goddam

bruachan, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of BillyB
4/5  rDev -7.2%

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light.

Medium off white head.

Strong smell of wine and dark fruits such as plum and raison.

Strong alcohol aroma and taste, slightly sherry-like.

Taste of dark fruit, figs, raisons, plums. Not much hop aroma

or taste. More malty and candy sugar sweetness than hop

bitterness.

Quite drinkable for the alcohol content.

BillyB, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%

Served in a snifter. Only about a 1/4 inch head on top, it dissipates speedily. The color is a deep brown/red or plum. Very cloudy. Somewhat bubbly. Smell is captivating with notes of wine, citrus fruits, honey, and alcohol. The taste is intense. Very strong malt flavors including rasins, candies, grapes, and brown sugar are present. Finish is strong and phenolic, and the alcohol rides a bit high. Has a rich feel with perfect carbonation. Very strong on malt, low on hops, its a slow sipper as the alcohol is not artfully hidden, but good nonetheless.

bennetj17, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of Pepeton
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%

I bought a 3-bottle case of these beers for my next three birthdays. Never thought how bittersweet the circumstances would be.

Shared the bottle with my Dad, two weeks from the passing of my mother. My Dad isn't into craft beer, but I figured that I should celebrate my B-day and his fatherhood (I'm his first born), and have a little remembrance of my Mom, now that all the fuzz is gone.

As BAs database says: Outstanding.

Vintage 2005, so this bottle was almost one-year old.

Appearance: Dark copper with red hues, compact head that resembles to me the foam of a Turkish coffee, and a nice thick lacing.

Smell: Complex: Ripe plums, raisins, roasted malts, some hops and more.

Taste: My first impression is of a brew more prone to the malty side, with a peppery and spicy presence; but then the hops come into action. Excellent balance in a full bodied beer. Very well hided alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Fuzzy due to carbonation and mildly bitter, with alcohol hints (with an ABV of 11% I'm surprised I couldn't find it more easily).

Drinkability: Dangerous ale. It's really so mild you can't believe it's an 11% ABV, until you feel the alcohol warmth. Just hope I could try this one on tap.

¡Salud!

Pepeton, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.88/5  rDev +13.2%

I hope this is the right spot for this review. My bottle says Grand Cru and is from 2003.

Appearance - dark, ruddy brown with red highlights. An inch of soapy light mocha bubbles rests on top, leaving thin, patchy lace behind. Dark, rich-looking.

Aroma - the nose is fantastic. Maple, banana, and butterscotch on top of the malts, a tingling of alcohol woven through it all.

Taste - a malt monster ale. Dark fermented fruit, honey, banana, maple syrup, chocolate, fruitcake. marshmallows, clove, allspice, what a range of tastes here!! Some hops show up around the swallow, but why bother? Slight bitter finish with very warm alcohol clarify and enhance the wonderful profile.

Mouthfeel - very alive with carbonation, medium body, lets the flavor stand on its own.

Drinkability - it's a beer dream come true. Worth keeping a few of these around for special occasions.

brewdlyhooked13, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%

a Nearly opaque reddish brown color with a fine, full head. Head dissipates to leave a ton of lacing, actually more like foam on the sides of the glass than lacing.

s Very fruity smell enhanced by the fact that I am drinking it warmer than the recommended 45 - 50 degrees. The aroma is that of dried dark fruits; raisins, prunes, with a pleasant rumminess.

t Tastes like a high alchol ale. My bottle says 10%. Sweet chocolate malt flavor.

m Feels good in my mouth, a little thin but again I am drinking it warm.

d I would drink this again and again. Too expensive to be an everyday beer but I will enjoy this ale many more times.

CDBeerDisappear, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a warm brown leather body that is opaque with a faint hint of light in the thin part of the chalice. The head is a nice creamy vanilla ice cream color with a few big bubbles on top. The head stays but turns into a thin film. This beer has some nice loose lacing all the way to the last drop.

S- The smell of sweet rich dark malt is evident even during the pour. Smells of dark brown sugar and brown malt also have a quality of Munich malt and some faint notes of dark fruit.

T- This beer has a faint sweetness to the dark malt with some dark brown sugar hints. The finish has a nice dry crystal malt taste with a carbonic fizz note and some soft alcohol.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with some soft champagne fizz through the sip. There is a very smooth alcohol warmth after the sip.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has very good complexity although subtle. The dark sweet malts in the front are balanced by a dry light malt in the finish similar to that taste I get from a good fresh Kolsch. The alcohol is smooth but adds some character. My bottle says 8%ABV but it doesn't taste like that at all.

rhoadsrage, Jan 13, 2006
Photo of jaluria
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

A highly drinkable & rich beer that is hard to put down.

Pours a rust-brown color, almost crimson with loads of foam that rests at the top of my glass and dissipates slowly leaving behind some lacing. Aromas of alcohol, plums, baked peaches, and melted sugar. The taste is just incredible with a blend of sweetness from different souces (various fruits, candy, etc.) that never overpowers but simply persists. Subtle spices and fruit flavors seem to pop up at different times. An elegant beer that exudes excellence and smoothness. The softness of this beers texture leaves a bit too be desired in the mouthfeel and aftertaste. However, the alcohol is well masked (seems more like a 7%-8% ABV) and the richness of the beer lends itself to be had again and again.

jaluria, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of stcules
3.75/5  rDev -13%

My bottle is 8.5 ABV, not 11.

Beautiful dark mahogany hue, with ruby reflexes. Beautiful foam, creamy, brownish color, compact, sticking. And persitent.
The smell is sweet, velvety, with marzipan, yeast, breadcrust. A good velvety/alcoholic, typical of the Het Anker beers.
At the taste is very soft, with the same velvety /alcoholic notes, and a lot of marzipan again. And a good sweet and soft peaches velvet.
It has an effect of roundiness, that mitigates the alcohol, still present, but not too bothering. Full, soft. Even notes of cocoa and hazelnut.
Then red fruits, more evident in the aftertaste, where there are again the marzipan and cocoa notes. And, overall, the velvety/alcoholic character. Maybe, in the end, a little too alcoholic.
Medium-high body.

stcules, Dec 26, 2005
Photo of ggaughan
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%

What an exceptional beer. I have had it a few times in bottles over the past few years but having it on tap a few weeks back at Monk's was the best tasting so far.

This beer pours a very deep, clowdy brown color with a sweet brownish head to it. The smell is nice and sweet but don't let that food you, it is 11% of pure Belgian beauty.

It had a nice sweet/chocolately taste but not overpowering or too syrupy. What a rich and complex beeer. I think they get better each year they release it and the older bottles get better with age as well.

ggaughan, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of bark
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

Vintage 2005.

The liquid is somewhat cloudy; the colour is deep, deep amber. The low foam looks nice with the beige colour, the fine lacing and the small bubbles. There are more bubbles in the liquid than I have seen in any other beer.

A note of cacao/dark chocolate dominates the semi-sweet smell. I found a particular rum-flavour that usually indicates that the beer is matured on wooden casks and a sweet note of dried fruits (raisins).

The taste is sweet and creamy with a complex of dried fruits, raisins, strong wine and caramel sauce. There is no bitterness at all. It finishes with a strong flavour of dark, matured rum. The aftertaste is sweet with a dry, almost roasted touch of raisins and creamy chocolate.

The carbonation is gentle with small bubbles; the mouthfeel is creamy.

I have some friends that are almost religious when it comes to this beet. OK, it is a very fine Belgian ale, but not exceptional. Maybe it needs some more time to mature?

bark, Dec 18, 2005
Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.98/5  rDev -7.7%

this was a pleasant surprise. bought it without knowing anything about it. read the label and it looked like something interesting. plu i'd never had a grand cru until this bottle, so when i saw it was a special grand cru, i was all over it...

appearance: my god, there was so much going on in my duvel tulip i could have watched it all day. super dark brown/red, ok head. the lacing was all over the place. a sign of what was to come.

smell: molasses? sugar cane? very sweet.

taste: super sweet and fruity. very full bodied. alcohol was slightly masked but still present, especially as it warmed up.

mouthfeel: smooth and creamy. almost stout-ish. the alcohol really comes out here.

drinkability: one was it for me. couldn't finish the bottle. had this one in 2 sittings. very enjoyable. i will definitely be trying this one again in the newar future. it was an awesome compliment to my thanksgiving dinner. cheers!

bitterdestroyer, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%

On tap in Bruno's basement, does this guy hook it up or what!
Dark mahogany brown body with a chill haze (a bit too cold) and a thin but creamy oatmeal hued head that settles into a lasting veil, adorning my goblet with thick sheets of lace.

Aroma is an intoxication blend of sweet raisins, figs, vanilla-spice, banana, tropical fruit, green apple, toffee, and floral hops. Very powerful nose here, i can smell it from several feet away!

Flavor begins with a mouthfull of rum soaked raisins and figs, dark candi sugar, honey, molasses, mango, tart green apple, sour cherry, candied nuts, vanilla, and subtle yeat spice notes. Complex and very rich.

Body is just huge, with a creamy thick texture that glides down your throat like warm butter. Delicious and perfect for dessert.

AlexJ, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%

25.4oz bottle from beerhandy as part of BIF 24. Thanks for the opportunity. Neck label notes "Jaargang 2005", corked and caged.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the bright burgundy brew. Headgrows for awhile, before settling down to drinkable levels after 10 minutes, with heavy foam lacing. Aroma is lightly spicy, with a banana sweetness . Taste is as good as the nose portended, with perhaps a little room for more flavor intensity, but I'm nit-picking. Mouthfeel is oh-so creamy and smooth, and drinkability is tremendous, especially for something of this abv. Just stupid drinkable. A brew fit for a king, in my book.

ppoitras, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of barknee
4.7/5  rDev +9%

Sample is a 25.4 ounce Vintage dated bottle from the one-time, once a year, February 24th 2004 limited production. (A small quantity of this brew is made on this date each year)
Pours a magnificent deep dark cloudy brownish-amber color, with some suspended particulate. A deep ½” mocha colored head, dissipates to a slick on top. The nose of massively rich butterscotch sours from the glass and is accompanied by warm caramelized sweet malts. The nose is unusual and distinguished; building uncontrollable anticipation for the tasting, which promises to be something very special.
OMG! The taste is out of this world!! Mature & complex roasted malts and fresh young turbinado sugar on the tip of the tongue. This (I almost wrote wine) brew is multi-dimensional, perfectly balanced and unbelievably delicious. The alcohol, at 10%, is completely undetectable, as tons of flavors impact the entire mouth. The interaction of the nose of this creation, and the simultaneous tasting of it is as harmonious as it gets; the very heady butterscotch with a negligible sour lining wrapped gently around the nose, and the impact of the slightly sweet caramelzation of the malts is virtually indescribable.
This brew you would expect to be a broodingly rich and flabby mess from the massiveness of the nose. That’s the surprise; it is lean to medium bodied, but super-concentrated on flavor, highly refined and flamboyant. The essence of the taste is remotely reminiscent to a lighthearted version of a fine young unadulterated tawny port, such as Taylor Fladgate’s 10 year. The mouthfeel is primo, perfect acid-sugar ratio, light and clean in the mouth, you could drink this endlessly. You would never expect this of the mouthfeel based on the unbelievable massiveness of the nose. The flavors last more than a minute in the mouth.
I will go on record to say that this is the most exciting and complex brew I have ever had the pleasure of partaking. It is indeed a nectar of and for the gods, formulated and prepared with the utmost of love and respect, it is a rare opportunity that simply cannot be missed. Bravo!!

barknee, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of carln26
4.13/5  rDev -4.2%

Dark brown color, very clear with a thick off-whiye head. The head leaves a nice lace as I drink the beer. Wonderful aroma of caramel, figs, sherry, and a little bit of mandarin orange. There’s just a little spice (cloves I believe) on the back end. The taste has a bit of toffee/pralines with more of the sherry. Orange and clove come across in the finish. Just a touch of alcohol heat. Full, mildly oily mouth feel. Good drinkability. Thanks so much to Jake of 33 who got this for me.

carln26, Nov 25, 2005
Photo of stof0048
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%

A: Poured into a Watou chalice. Very deep brown with a hint of red when held in the light. Very little to no head with lacing that sticks to the glass.

S: A bit of a molasses smell, somewhat malty. Sweet, dark candies also present.

T: Decadent. Dark candy, a slight hint of anise, malt, amost no hop taste, alcohol is present but nicely balanced and faintly noticeable. Plums, brown sugar, molasses...

M: Goes down like silk. Very creamy mouthfeel with a bit of bite from the alcohol when you let it sit on your tongue for a moment.

D: Very easy to drink despite alcohol content. Don't know if I'd be able to polish off multiple bottles, but it's a wonderful beer that is wonderful in every aspect. Highly recommend!

stof0048, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of Lnedrive14
4.65/5  rDev +7.9%

Poured into a Rochefort chalice from a 750ml bottle. 2005.

The bottle says it gets better with age, but I couldn't wait. It pours a rich mahagony with a small head. Reminds me of the St. Bernadus. Beautiful beautiful.

Fruity smell is mellowed by the maltiness. Figs, cloves, and maybe even a little banana really come out in this brew. Very complex and delicious.

It tastes a bit sweeter than I had anticipated. Definitely malty, but slightly more subdued than other beers of similar style. It's an amazing brew, but I do think it will become more complex with age. Wish I had another bottle to cellar.

I don't think I've ever enjoyed having a beer in my mouth more than this. I almost wanted to drink faster just so I could get an explosion of it all at once, but at the same time I didn't want the experience to be over so fast. I didn't even taste the alcohol.

This is one of the best brews I've ever had. I think I enjoyed the St. Bernadus 12 a bit more, but this one might have had even more complexity to it.

Go grab one. Now!

Lnedrive14, Nov 03, 2005
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,490 ratings.